At your child's first consultation, we provide more information about cochlear implantation and the evaluation process. We ask permission to obtain your child's school records, and to speak with your child's private therapists and school professionals. We can also arrange for you to speak with other families whose children have already received an implant.
Please be prepared to provide us with the name and address of your child's pediatrician or family doctor, as well as any other medical specialists involved in your child's care. We also request that you provide us with copies of your child's vaccination records.
Testing & Diagnosis
Specialized audiologic testing (speech perception tests) will be needed to confirm your child's implant candidacy. We have expertise in providing whatever type of testing would be best suited to confirming your child’s diagnosis of hearing loss and degree of benefit from amplification. Behavioral testing during which your child’s responses to sound are always a part of the evaluation process.
However, infants and difficult to test children can be accurately evaluated using auditory brainstem response (ABR) testing. We are the largest referral center in Illinois for ABR testing and use advanced methods and equipment. We will review prior ABR testing your child may have received and will determine if further ABR testing at Lurie Children’s is needed. Depending on the results of your child’s hearing evaluations, hearing aids may be loaned to your child during the evaluation process.
We typically recommend your child be evaluated by one of our cochlear implant team speech and language pathologists. We will also communicate with your child’s local therapist and/or school professionals who are familiar with their progress. We then determine if your child will do better with an implant in one or both ears or should continue to use hearing aids.
Once we have determined that your child would benefit from a cochlear implant, imaging studies will be scheduled. A special magnetic resonance (MR) study is typically recommended and in some instances a CT scan.
Most families begin the cochlear implant evaluation process by working with one of our audiologists who specialize in cochlear implants. However, you may choose to meet with our surgeon, Dr. Young, at any point during the preoperative evaluation period. She will meet with you again closer to the surgery date to answer any additional questions.
The preoperative consultation and audiologic testing, the medical consultation, surgery and postoperative programming are available at Lurie Children’s Main Hospital in Chicago and at our outpatient center in Westchester.
Please note: Young or difficult-to-test children may require multiple appointments to complete required speech perception testing. The order of these evaluations may be changed to meet your child's needs. For families coming from a distance, it is possible to schedule multiple evaluations over several days. We can also help you find local accommodations. Learn more about staying in Chicago.